Drone footage of scenic Japan Vol.3 Lake Yunoko Basking in Spring Sunshine
Oku-Nikkō and Lake Yunoko basking in the spring sunshine. Our drone rapidly ascends to 120 metres above the lake and trout fishermen. Once the camera sights fix on distant Mount Nantai, the drone rotates slowly counter clockwise above the lake, before heading down towards the fishing boats. Lake Yunoko is at its prettiest in the morning.
(Filmed May 19, 2018)
Lake Yunoko lies just south of Yumoto Onsen Village, deep inside Nikkō National Park. The lake is a natural dam, formed when the Yugawa River was blocked by lava from the eruption of Mount Mitsudake (1,945 m) to the northeast. The lake level sits at 1,478 metres above sea level (around 200 metres higher than Lake Chūzenji) and has a maximum depth of 13.5 metres. Lake Yunoko measures one kilometre in length from north to south and is up to 300 metres wide, with a circumference of around three kilometres. The eastern side of the lake is accessible by road, but otherwise the area retains a strong sense of wilderness. Dense forests filled with asunaro cypress (Thujopsis sp.) and Nikkō fir (Abies homolepis) surround the lake.
A hiking track encircles the lake, allowing for a pleasant walk from May onwards when a variety of plants begin to flower. The spectacular Yutaki Falls, 50 metres high and with a width of 25 metres, spill from the lake at its southern end. Another walking track follows the river from the base of the waterfall as far as the Senjōgahara Marshlands. This river cuts through the marshlands before spilling into Lake Chūzenji via the Ryūzu-taki Falls.
Lake Yunoko is one of the country’s top fly-fishing spots. Trout fishing began here during the Meiji Period (1868 – 1912) when Scottish entrepreneur and arms dealer, Thomas Glover, released trout into the rivers of Oku-Nikkō. Lake Yunoko attracts anglers from all over Japan during the trout fishing season, many of whom come for a nationwide fishing event. The Japan Fisheries Agency is currently conducting an ecological survey of introduced trout species in the area.
Yūji Fujinuma works as a freelance editor and journalist. His main subject matter is plants and animals, nature, history and culture.
Judy Evans is a high school teacher of English and Japanese, and a Japanese-English translator. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese and Art History and has studied production horticulture and landscape design. Judy has a keen interest in the internet environment and has administered websites for a number of organisations. She lives on a small farm in rural New Zealand and is a frequent visitor to Japan.